Newsletter 29 – Afro-businessmen delegation recognizes entrepreneurial spirit of the city-region
Cali and Buenaventura continue to be ideal scenarios for attracting foreign direct investment, for fostering business alliances, and for fostering entrepreneurship, creativity, and development. This was the conclusion of the visit made at the end of March by thirteen businessmen members of the National Black Chamber of Commerce -NBCC-, the largest Afro business association of the United States in the world.
This delegation, made up of distinguished North American businessmen, chose to come to the capital of Valle del Cauca because it is an inclusive city, because of its diversity, its strong business fabric and because it is considered the epicenter of the black population in Latin America.
The National Black Chamber of Commerce is an entity whose mission is to represent the needs of African-American businessmen, in order to support them economically in their ventures. Therefore, the purpose of his visit was to identify possible projects to strengthen commercial ties.
“I see a lot of entrepreneurial experience in both Cali and Buenaventura and I also see that as an opportunity to build relationships and help to promote trade in North and South America,” said John Harmon, founder, and CEO of the New Jersey African American Chamber of Commerce.
In Cali, the delegation participated in a rich academic agenda that addressed issues of bio-business, urban renewal, regional integration, economic growth, among others. In addition, they connected with businessmen and local entities, participated in a sample of Afro entrepreneurship, and visited the facilities of Zonamerica, the first and only free trade zone specializing in services in Colombia.
In Buenaventura, the agenda included a boat tour of the bay, a view of the Aguadulce Industrial Port Society and an institutional day in which they had the opportunity to learn more about the diversity of the region and all the competitive advantages offered by the main port on the Colombian Pacific.
“In general the trip was quite positive, opportunities are being generated; we are grateful to have been invited to the region, honestly we are very excited to work with Colombian business because we feel they are very prepared to accept new challenges and continue growing,” said Teresa Cox, director of Strategic Development for P-Inc, who was part of the U.S. businessmen who visited the region.
This familiarization trip was promoted by the Municipality of Cali, through the Secretariat of Economic Development, in a strategic alliance with the Investment Promotion Agency in the Colombian Pacific, Invest Pacific.
For its development in Cali, it had the support of Copafro, Comfandi, Zonamerica and the University Santiago de Cali. In Buenaventura, the Municipality of Buenaventura, the Buenaventura Chamber of Commerce, CELPA, the National Navy, among other local entities that were linked to the agenda.
Familiarization trips are one of the investment promotion strategies developed by Invest Pacific, to make world-class players aware of the value proposition offered by the region. These conferences are articulated with the institutionality since the local public and private sectors are key actors to continue positioning Cali and the other municipalities of Valle del Cauca as ideal destinations for foreign direct investment.